Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will see the return of multiple stars to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Daniel Kaluuya will not be one of them. The actor, fresh off an acclaimed turn in Jordan Peele’s Nope, was shockingly absent when the cast of the sequel film took the stage at last month’s San Diego Comic-Con. He portrayed W’Kabi, a close friend of Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa and a morally conflicted member of Wakanda’s advisory board in 2018’s Black Panther. However, the Get Out breakout doesn’t seem to mind being absent from the highly anticipated second entry of the franchise. Instead, he says he’ll be excitedly rooting for his friends from the sideline.
Speaking exclusively with Variety in a recent interview, Kaluuya was asked if he’d gotten around to watching the gorgeous trailer for Wakanda Forever released at SDCC. He responded cheerfully:
Of course, I’ve seen it! It’s amazing.Daniel Kaluuya
When pressed to comment on not having a role, Kaluuya gave another respectful and succinct answer:
It’s what’s best for the story, what’s best for the film. I’m excited for it. I’m excited to watch it.Daniel Kaluuya
W’Kabi played a big part in the political landscape of the first film, so it will be interesting to see how the sequel is better off without him. Perhaps Kaluuya’s character is away from the country when Tenoch Huerta’s Namor attacks, or perhaps he’s an early, off-screen casualty that helps propel the Black Panther story forward. Only time will tell. As for his future with Marvel, Kaluuya was forced to keep playing coy:
You know I can’t tell you! You’re supposed to start with that!Daniel Kaluuya
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11th.